Breath Right and Sleep Tight
Are you tossing and turning at night unable to get comfortable? Or, is your mind so busy you can't stop the thoughts long enough to fall asleep? Taking the time to relax and breath properly might solve the problem. Of course if you are suffering from a sleep disorder you should consult a health care practitioner. But if it's taking you longer than you'd like to fall asleep practicing breathing techniques is something to consider.
Back to Basics
I'm not sure when exactly it happened, but it was clearly pointed out at a pre-natal class for my first born that I had forgotten how to breath correctly. You'd think it would be quiet simple after all, we are born doing it, right? But breathing properly didn't come naturally anymore and so I practiced (a question of being prepared for giving birth!).
I practiced my breathing exercise whenever I could get away with it without someone noticing: during walks, in the bath or shower, and in bed at night. What I learned was that taking the time to relax and concentrate on my breathing helped me fall asleep faster, and faster!
Start by blowing your nose for a clear airway.
Place your hand on your stomach and breath in through your nose as slowly as possible and count to 4. You should feel your stomach rising as it fills with air.
Hold your breath as you count to 7 again.
Exhale through your mouth slowly as you count to 8.
Don't worry if you aren't able to inhale and exhale slowly to start with. Like everything else we do, breathing and relaxing comes easier with practice and after awhile it comes effortlessly and naturally. According to The Art and Science of Breathing by Dr. Andrew Weil , M.D. "this exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system".
A Step Further
If you enjoy this breathing exercise and the benefits you get from it, OR if you are finding it difficult to remain concentrated on your breathing, you may find that listening to an audio will help guide you through the process and achieve an even higher level of relaxation.
A highly recommended audio you may enjoy: Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing by Andrew Weil can be found online or in bookstores at a very affordable cost.
Also try these other tips for a good night's sleep:
Sleep in a dark, well ventilated, and cool room.
Make sure you have a comfortable bed, pillow and linens that feel good to you.
Avoid the computer and TV before bed.
Get in a routine of preparing for bedtime rather than rushing to bed at the end of the day.
Put a dab of Valerian, Lavender, or Jasmine essential oil on the edge of your pillow case.
So the next time your tossing and turning remember that a good night's sleep could be only a breath away.
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